Grow an agile project portfolio with advanced analytics

Agile project management has paved the way for businesses to adapt to changing requirements. As organizations scale, rising interdependencies and complexities in projects can slow down growth. With advanced analytics, businesses can improve their decision-making and grow their project portfolio more successfully.

Out of all the moving parts, we’ve picked four high-impact areas that strongly influence software development or project management deliverables. These are plotted around the circle in the below graphical representation.

When scaled (more products or projects to manage), these areas multiply exponentially, building more complexities into the system. With limited resources working across projects, the interdependency on teams keeps growing bigger.

By embracing advanced analytics as the common denominator for multiple products or projects, teams can efficiently scale, and grow their agile project portfolio. In this blog, we discuss possible opportunities to grow across these four high-impact areas by combining an agile project management application like Zoho Sprints with a modern self-service BI & analytics platform like Zoho Analytics.

Project backlog management

A backlog is a collection of work items – user stories, tasks, bugs. A widely adopted strategy to manage backlogs is to plot them by priority, and attend to the high priority items first.

With advanced analytics, backlog management can be approached in two ways:

  • Give more data points for teams to decide on backlogs to attend to. This is possible when teams slice and dice their backlog data. Here’s an example in the form of a dashboard. Learn more about the insights teams can extract from this dashboard. 

  • Crunch multiple variables into a single report that influences the backlog. This multi-variate analysis (shown below) on open items, item type, and priority, helps teams understand how these variables behave with each other in the context of backlogs.

Sprint planning

Resource allocation can be a game changer while planning sprints. With advanced analytics, teams get maximum visibility into their sprints and resource distribution. This empowers them to plan their resources and sprints more effectively.

Here’s a two-pronged plan to address this pain point.

  • Analyze upcoming sprints. The report below analyzes sprints that are getting completed in the next 6 weeks. By drilling into any week, teams can better understand the daily distribution of sprints. Teams can also further drill down to understand the sprints that are getting completed on that particular date.

Depending on the project needs, teams can dynamically drill into any data point, and unearth more granular insights to plan their sprints better.

  • Analyze the historic trends of sprints. With the ML-powered AI assistant Ask Zia, we’ve analyzed sprints’ completion trends. We’ve also forecasted this metric to enable teams to plan their sprints proactively.

Release management

Portfolio managers often work with various stakeholders on multiple projects. With advanced analytics, portfolio managers can add a layer of insights over their voluminous data.

Below is a funnelled approach that starts with insights at a macro level, and further boils down to granular insights.

This comprehensive dashboard gives portfolio managers a 360° view of their releases. All release-critical metrics are analyzed and presented in the form of KPI widgets and reports.

We discussed how teams can easily customize reports and extract granular insights at a project group level in our webinar.

Continuous improvement

Continuous improvement is the secret sauce built into agile project management systems that drive growth at scale. With advanced analytics, teams can create maximum visibility for all the aspects of project management that drive continuous improvement.

Here’s a mission control dashboard that has metrics analyzed across portfolios and projects.

We also discussed in our webinar how project teams can securely collaborate with fine-grained access controls.

One of the prime factors that determines the success of growing an agile project portfolio is the BI & analytics platform used. Check out how Zoho Analytics can be a key enabler in your project management efforts—and then learn more about our integrations with other business apps.

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